Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said he isn’t very concerned about the possibility of Kyler Murray leaving the program after the 2018 MLB Draft.
Murray is ranked as the No. 36 overall prospect in the draft this summer, according to ESPN’s Keith Law. But Riley told the Associated Press’ Ralph Russo that he fully expects the junior quarterback to be on the roster for the 2018 football season.
“I don’t really have any concerns with it,” Riley said when asked about the possibility of Murray leaving if he gets selected in the MLB draft. “Kyler and I have had some good private conversations about it and I am comfortable where he and his family are at with it. I think he’s comfortable where we are at with it, so we’ll proceed and certainly expect to have him.”
Playing baseball would offer immediate financial benefits for Murray, and many think he is a better professional prospect in baseball than in football. However, Riley seems confident that Murray will remain a college athlete this year.
Murray and Austin Kendall are currently competing to replace No. 1 overall draft pick Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback for the Sooners. Riley also provided an update on that position race.
“It’s going well,” Riley said. “It’s a little bit different competition this time around in that both these guys have been in this offense and in our program now for multiple years. They both had experience as far as game experience. Both backed up Baker at different times during their careers. And both of them have nice skill sets. So it’s been fun. They’ve gotten better with a lot of the reps. You can see just the overall competitiveness of the situation is very high and bringing out the best in them. Both did enough in the spring to say we’re going to keep this [competition] open, let these guys continue to go at it.”
Oklahoma opens the 2018 season at home against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 1.